April 28, 2011

SeaWorld Orlando’s Aviculture Team Pair Orphaned Chick with Rescued Sandhill Crane

While caring for two rescued sandhill cranes – an injured adult and an orphaned chick – SeaWorld’s aviculture team put their problem-solving skills to work to create a successful surrogacy. A few weeks ago, an adult sandhill crane was brought to SeaWorld with a rubber gasket around his bill. Not only was the crane incapable of eating, but the proper growth of its bill was also in jeopardy.
Once SeaWorld’s veterinarians removed the gasket, the aviculture team spent weeks giving the sandhill around-the-clock care. Thankfully, the adult sandhill crane has had a right-on-schedule recovery, and he just so happened to make a friend while doing so. While caring for the adult crane, SeaWorld’s team rescued a newly hatched sandhill crane chick. Years of experience told the team that if a chick isn’t around other cranes during its early months, the possibility of imprinting on a human increases, making it difficult to return the chick to the wild when ready. 
The team came up with a unique solution: Pair the two birds together. It is sometimes difficult for orphaned chicks to be tolerated by older cranes that are not familiar with them, but when the adult crane was placed with the orphaned chick, they took an instant liking to each other. The adult sandhill is currently acting as a surrogate, and the fuzzy chick is mimicking and learning crane behaviors, just like it would in the wild.
Eric Reece, SeaWorld’s Supervisor of Aviculture, adds, “The fact that the adult crane took to the chick bodes well for the development of the chick. It is now growing and doing well.” So what does the future hold for these two pals? SeaWorld Orlando’s Aviculture Team plans to release the adult and chick together, once the chick learns to fly and the adult is fully recovered.

April 26, 2011

One Ocean Review with Pictures & Video!

"One Ocean" debuted last Friday the 22nd, Earth Day 2011. It replaced "Believe", another killer whale show which had a five year run at all SeaWorld Parks. It features a ton of Seaworld's killer whales who interact with the trainers throughout the show. While they don't swim with the trainers like the original version of "Believe" they do get up-close and personal with the trainers. They are currently working on new ways to incorporate the trainers getting back into the water.
New effects have also been added to the already awesome Shamu Stadium. In addition to the panoramic, moving LCD screens, they have added high-power fountains and lots of new lighting which make the show even more visually appealing. The fountains are synchronized with the great new musical score featuring "One Song" which is sure to be a crowd favorite. The set is beyond breathtaking. It has more colors than ever and a ton of cutouts of different sea creatures all around it. It is our personal favorite set of any Shamu show, pictures can not even start to show its vivid design.
Like all Shamu shows it also features some very touching moments. "One Ocean's" most touching moment is the scene with Makaio, Seaworld's newly born killer whale. "One Ocean" is performed several times a day and will debut at SeaWorld San Antonio and SeaWorld San Diego over the Summer.
Check out pictures of the show below along with highlights of the inaugural show. Also check out the video of the full show along with interviews with park officials. Thanks for viewing.

Click the image to view it larger.

April 22, 2011

SeaWorld Orlando Debuts One Ocean!

This Earth Day SeaWorld Orlando celebrates the world we share with the debut of the all-new killer whale show, “One Ocean.” The presentation of these extraordinary animals connects guests to the sea with a new level of energy and excitement, all while educating and inspiring guests to make a difference in this world.
The new Shamu show – along with other all-new experiences and adventures at both SeaWorld and Discovery Cove - tops Orlando’s must-see list for families on summer getaways. “One Ocean” features SeaWorld’s majestic killer whales as ambassadors of the sea, and the ocean as the center of our natural world. At the core of the show is the inspiring and educational message that both animals and humans are part of one world, with one ocean, and its future is in our hands to cherish and protect.
“One Ocean” brings to life SeaWorld’s mission in the most powerful way yet,” said Jim Atchison, president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “This show is what guests love about our parks: thrilling entertainment that educates and inspires you to celebrate, connect and care for the world we share.” Look for our coverage of the debut of One Ocean in a bit along with interviews, highlights and more!

April 9, 2011

Last Chance for Shark Deep Dive!

For all those who love sharks and want the chance to be face-to-face with them, be quick because Shark Deep Dive at SeaWorld Orlando will be closing on May 15th to make way for an all new helmet diving experience at SeaWorld's sister park Discovery Cove. The Grand Reef is set to open in Summer 2011 and will have 4 species of sharks, rays, and a multitude of fish.
Right now, the program is at a special low price of $59.99 for all guests, and pass members can save 20% when you book now! It is a fully immersive experience and one you'll never forget so hurry!

April 8, 2011

Beneath the Surface: The Making of SeaWorld Orlando's One Ocean - The Inspiration

One Ocean features SeaWorld’s majestic killer whales as ambassadors of the sea, and the ocean as the center of our natural world. At the core of the show is the unifying and educational message that both animals and humans are part of one world and its future is in our hands to cherish and protect. The show debuts this spring and summer in all three SeaWorld parks: Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio.

SeaWorld Orlando will post a series of video vignettes now through the grand opening that take you behind the scenes with trainers, producers, designers and educators as they collaborate on every aspect of the new show - from set design, lighting and special effects to costumes and an original symphonic score.

First up is where every creative project starts: the inspiration.

April 4, 2011

One Ocean to Premiere Earth Day 2011, April 22nd!

The new show at Seaworld Parks called One Ocean is going to debut at Seaworld Orlando April 22nd, Earth Day 2011.
“One Ocean” features SeaWorld’s majestic killer whales as ambassadors of the sea, and the ocean as the center of our natural world. The show connects guests with these remarkable animals and immerses the audience in the vivid colors and sensations of the underwater world. At the core of the show is the unifying message that both animals and humans are part of one world, with one ocean, and its future is in our hands to cherish and protect.
The show features spectacular whale behaviors, including thrilling high-energy leaps and multiple whales performing simultaneously. The whales interact in new ways with trainers, the audience, each other, and even the set itself. 
Shamu Stadium – with its three-story set, panoramic LED screens and hundreds of surround-sound speakers – will feature special effects that envelop guests in the show experience, including brilliantly colored lights; soaring fountains; stunning underwater imagery and an original, contemporary musical score with global rhythms. 
Thanks for viewing and be sure to follow us on Twitter @SWONation for all the latest Seaworld Orlando news!

April 2, 2011

Sea Lions Up-Close Tour Review: Fun Had by Fins and Fans Alike

If you have ever imagined meeting those lovable clowns Clyde and Seamore, the Sea Lions Up-Close tour is the perfect opportunity to do so. Tickets for the tour, which are $40 for adults and only $20 for children, include VIP seats to Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island, a photo shoot with one of the show's sea lion stars and an exclusive mammal feeding session. 
The fun begins when tour participants meet with a SeaWorld Educator at the entrance to Pacific Point. The Educator serves as a tour guide throughout the duration of the 60-minute tour and is always ready to answer any and all questions. The first perk of the tour, VIP seating at Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island, ensures that participants do not miss a single bad pirate joke or sea lion shenanigan. After the show a trainer meets with the tour and calls a sea lion over for a special photo opportunity where both the humans and the animal share great big smiles!  
The final part of the tour, and the favorite of many, is the animal feeding at Pacific Point Preserve. Each participant is given a 10-pound feed bucket of different types of fish to feed to the sea lions and harbor seals that call Pacific Point home. Dozens of sea lions and seals (and Floridian birds) gather for a chance to catch a tasty fish. The Educator tour guide even encourages participants to play "baseball" with the sea lions, throwing the fish to animals watching from the rocks in the center of the exhibit. Throughout the entire experience, the Educator and the animal trainer share information about training methods, the daily life of the mammals and information SeaWorld's conservation efforts.
During the summer, my boyfriend and I chose the sea lion experience because it was one of the park's more affordable tour options. We both love the playful pinnipeds and their antics, so learning about the ins-and-outs of daily sea lion was a ton of fun! We had an incredible time and are planning to go on the tour again next summer. We both highly recommend the experience for all SeaWorld guests including families, couples and Clyde and Seamore fans.
Big thanks to our new contributor
 Ashley C. Nichols for composing this review and providing the pictures! 

April 1, 2011

Behind the Scenes Rescue Tour Review

The SeaWorld Rescue Tour is one of the most popular, and interesting tours, available at SeaWorld Orlando. Through SeaWorld's Partner Hotel Programs and Vacation Packages (more information on that here), this tour is free for one day during your stay! This tour, when taken through the hotel deal, is a 30 minute tour through SeaWorld's "North Support," the head station for rescue and rehabilitation for the park's rescue missions, located behind and between Key West at SeaWorld and Manatee Rescue.
The tour shows different rescued animals at the facilities, everything from birds to manatees, and dolphins to sea turtles. The goal for all these animals are release back into the wild. From the start of 2011 until March 26rd, 2011, 11 manatees were rescued from the wild, and 12 were released back into the wild since then. I highly recommend this tour, very educational and truly tons of fun!
As a side note, if you ever see an sick or injured animal in the wild, dial your local FWC center, or 911 if not available. SeaWorld Orlando responds to calls all over the state of Florida, and has worked with sick animals as far north as New England.

Animal Transport Unit

Rescue Transport Vehicles

Blind Sea Turtle rescued, SeaWorld is doing its best to help this creature and seems to be doing a great job!

Manatee Facilities

Bottlenose Dolphins, these animals are not rescues but were in need of special attention away from the main habitats.